Program Update – Monday 13 November

Key Points:

  • An interview on Department Design with the IT team
  • A reminder about THQ Vision briefings


A conversation with the IT team

The IT department is now three months into the department design phase. This week A1 Communications Team member Claire Hill chatted with Andre D’Cruz (AUS), Philip Smith (AUE) and James Cox (AUE) – three team members who have been involved in department design workshops and focus sessions to find out how they have found the journey so far.


CH; Thanks so much for being willing to share your experiences with us today. To begin with, could you tell me how you felt at the start of the department design process? 

AD: I was really excited! I thought it was a fantastic opportunity.

PS: I didn’t really have any pre-conceived ideas or concerns.

JC: Some of us did have some concern about the fact that we are two different territories and how we are going to bring that together. But at the same time it was an exciting feeling to be part of this – to have this chance to help make my Army a better Army.

CH: You’re a few months along the journey now. How have you found the process? What has this experience been like for you? 

AD: If I’m honest it’s gone a lot more slowly than I expected.

JC: We did have a lot of misconceptions at the start because of the name: “Detailed design phase”. I believe the name has since been changed to: “Department design phase”. The first phase wasn’t about getting into the nitty gritty and defining the details, it was the opposite. It was finding out what we want our department to be in the future.

CH: And what came out of those discussions? What do you want the IT department to be in the future?  

JC: I recently heard innovation defined as: “fresh ideas that add value”. I want to see IT become an innovation department, to add value to our frontline or anyone in TSA through technology.

AD: In the workshops we found so many opportunities and possibilities for how IT could add value to the organisation. It encouraged me to be more involved and to contribute as much as I can because there is so much value we can all add.

CH: What else about the process has been encouraging? 

JC: Meeting our counterparts in the other territory and finding out they’re pretty much the same as us: same skills, same knowledge, same struggles. We’re not in this alone.

PS: I was encouraged by the incredibly talented people who have been brought in to guide us through this. Speaking with them and seeing how they interacted with the room has given me a lot more confidence for TSA in Australia. I could start to visualise how the whole thing was going to happen.

AD: The mix of people we had in our working group was really good: leadership team members, Aged Care, Employment Plus, HR…I think it was a good combination of complementary skills. Not everyone thinking the same and doing the same kind of work.

JC: Coming out the other end of our department design process it is encouraging to know that we can now see a bit of a horizon. We can see potentially what we could or will be in the future.

CH: How do you think this process will help you live out the vision? 

PS: Part of this whole thing is supposed to be 1+1=New…and I think that’s going to be the powerful thing. So rather than just trying to squash two teams together, we use this as an opportunity to step back, look at what we do, look at how we can support the mission and have the Army support us in being able to come back with new technologies and ways of doing things.

Through this process we’ve really sat back and tried to put ourselves in our customer’s shoes. It’s not just a matter of “you need to fix this”. It’s “in order for me to do what I do – frontline mission, etc I need these tools to work.” I think that was a bit of a turning point in the process. Sort of making that link between what we do and how it impacts the person on the frontline.

I know for myself I’m not someone that is built to be on the frontline, so by working in the department and supporting these people that’s my way of giving back to the mission.

AD: Agreed, we’re all part of the value chain. We all add value to the mission.

JC: Everyone’s unique, but we’re all part of this one team regardless of what department we sit in. We’re all working towards the same goal.

CH: What advice would you give to someone who is about to go through the department design process and is maybe feeling apprehensive?

PS: If you’re given the opportunity to contribute, make the most of it. The opportunity is not only to contribute but it’s also to influence.

JC: Come in open-minded. You come in with your own history and you shouldn’t let that go, but don’t let it control where you need to be. You want to learn from the things that have fallen over and take hold of the things that worked well and use all of that collaboratively as your departments start to come together.

AD: I don’t think I have anything to add. You guys covered it. All I can add is, trust the process.

Stay tuned! We look forward to sharing more interviews and stories from team members as we continue our journey towards a united national territory.


THQ Vision briefings

We’d like to remind all THQ officers, staff and volunteers about the ‘Living our Vision’ briefings to be hosted by our National Commander, Commissioner Floyd Tidd.

To ensure that these briefings are easily accessible, we will be live-streaming both events for the benefit of those who can’t attend in person, and will also make the briefings available for download from the Australia One resources website following the events. We’ll share details of how to access the live-stream in coming weeks.

  • THQ Vision Briefing Redfern – Thursday 23rd November 2017, 10:00am – 10:30am (AEDT)
  • THQ Vision Briefing Blackburn – Thursday 30th November 2017, 9.30am – 10:00am (AEDT)



Keeping Informed

You can keep up to date with the latest Australia One news and information by regularly visiting the Australia One website (, or your monthly edition of OTHERS magazine ( online or in printed copy).

You can also raise any questions you may have with your manager, either at your regular team meeting or outside of those meetings.

You can also contact us directly through the Australia One email inbox: (AUS) (AUE)

You can print a copy of this Program Update by using your internet browser’s print function.

  • Pam Stamos
    Posted at 08:18h, 14 November Reply

    We hear leaders talking about Australia One in such glowing terms but the people I talk to are definitely not echoing those sentiments. Change is good, but change for the sake of change is never good. There are other ways to save money that do not involve reducing influence. The Lord has grown the Salvation Army in Australia over many years. Do not stunt that growth by reducing access points, where people can physically connect. Australia is growing rapidly, we should be ever more available by increasing not reducing.

    We need to plan for growth not decay. We need to look at ways to recruit more cadets. Yes we need to cut costs, while continuing to grow, but cuts in education, reducing numbers of new qualified well equipped workers will not do this. Booth College in Sydney is an ideal location because of its closeness to the airport and the city. The money saved in transport costs must be huge. Do not throw away such a wonderful, valuable treasure.

  • Pam Stamos
    Posted at 10:41h, 16 November Reply

    Booth College at Bexley North should be doing all of the Non-residential Cadet training, Staff development courses, courses for Corps Officers wanting to further their studies, Intensives, distance and on-line courses, higher education courses for non-Salvation Army students and VET programs. In other words, Booth College at Bexley North should provide all higher education and VET courses other than Full-time residential Salvation Army cadet training.
    I know the decision has been made but I believe that the School for Officer Training (full-time residential) should continue to be both in Melbourne and Sydney.
    Who made the decision to send Higher Education down to Melbourne and why? Booth College in Sydney was doing such a good job and had so many excellent people teaching and servicing theological students alongside the Sydney based cadets. Who made such a decision? Whoever did make the decision to choose Melbourne over Sydney did they first take a good look at what was happening in Sydney or did they just choose Melbourne because that was where everything else is going. Did anyone notice that the college at Bexley North (Sydney) is in a perfect location as far as being close to the city, train station and Airport? Any savings made by having everything in Melbourne will be lost in transport costs and reductions of student numbers.

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